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A Home for Bird

Philip C. Stead (Roaring Brook/Porter)

Never mind that one of the buddies in Stead’s sweet-natured buddy road trip story is a bit, well, wooden—the journey is all the more rewarding for it. When a toad named Vernon discovers a blue bird, he is determined to find its home, even if the bird is the silent (and nonmoving) type. Vernon’s compassion and heart drive this adventure toward its just-right conclusion.

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Rocket Writes a Story

Tad Hills (Random/Schwartz & Wade)

In this sequel to How Rocket Learned to Read, Rocket the puppy is ready to take his literary career to the next level and try his hand at writing. Budding authors will get some solid tips, too, as Rocket’s “teacher,” a small yellow bird, helps him improve his story and even make a friend along the way.

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King Arthur’s Very Great Grandson

Kenneth Kraegel (Candlewick)

Debut author Kraegel offers a wonderfully wry quest starring a six-year-old descendent of King Arthur who is ready to take on monsters. Too bad that all those griffins and dragons want to do is play chess and have staring contests. Adding to the mix is Kraegel’s exuberant artwork, which brings both humor and drama to the story.

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Wild About You!

Judy Sierra, illus. by Marc Brown (Knopf)

In this family-focused companion to Wild About Books and ZooZical, Sierra and Brown return to the Springfield Zoo to deliver a blithe, rhyming tribute to the ups and downs of family life. Moreover, two cross-species adoptions (two pandas care for a cat, and a tree kangaroo hatches a penguin chick) offer subtle, nonpreachy affirmations of the different forms that families can take.

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